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Social Science Research in New Zealand

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The definitive introduction for students and practitioners undertaking social research in New Zealand.

How do we make sense of Aotearoa New Zealand’s diverse and changing society? This book introduces readers to the range of theories, approaches and techniques that we will need to understand this country in the twenty-first century.

Part one, ‘the big picture’, looks at how different cultures gather knowledge, introducing readers to science, social science, Māori approaches, cross-cultural and feminist research, and ethics. Part two, ‘the basics of social science research’, explains how to do a literature review, design a research project, collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data, and write up the results. In part three, ‘techniques of social research’, a number of prominent New Zealand social scientists show how research really gets done by explaining the use of key techniques in their own research projects, from official statistics and longitudinal research to focus groups and ethnography.

This is a book for New Zealand students and practitioners written by New Zealand social scientists, highlighting what is different about doing research in this country in the twenty-first century. The book is as much about qualitative approaches as quantitative ones and introduces readers to the practice of research through real cases, rather than just theory. The editors are fierce methodological pluralists, and they introduce the wide range of tools and approaches available to the modern researcher.

For anyone coming to the many paths of social research for the first time, Social Science Research in New Zealand is the perfect introduction.


About the editors

Martin Tolich is associate professor of sociology at the University of Otago. The pair are co-authors of both Social Science Research in New Zealand  (Pearson, 1999, 2003) and Getting Started: An Introduction to Research Methods (Pearson, 2011).

Carl Davidson is former sociology lecturer at Massey University and Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission.  He is currently Director of Strategy and Insight at Research First Ltd.

Other Details

Martin Tolich
Carl Davidson

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